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Website evelopment.The ecommended ctivities. Part 2 - Essay Example

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After figuring out why a site should be built, the second most important aspect of designing information architecture is determining who the audience is. This is an invaluable step that many people fail to grasp.Many sites do not even take into consideration who will be using them…
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Website evelopment.The ecommended ctivities. Part 2
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Webmonkey 2 Introduction "After figuring out why a site should be built, the second most important aspect of designing information architecture isdetermining who the audience is. This is an invaluable step that many people fail to grasp. Many sites do not even take into consideration who will be using them. How can you design a site if you don't know who's going to be seeing it" (Shiple, 2008, pg. 2) The purpose of this paper is to read through Lesson 2, and carry out as many of the recommended activities as possible.
Core Lessons
The authors share four steps in the task of defining the user experience with regard to the site that is being created. These are defining the audience, creating scenarios, performing a competitive analysis, and finalizing the design document with each of these components (Shiple, 2008).
The first step is to create a list of potential audience members. Then, they should be ranked in order of importance. The needs and goals of each one should be determined. Finally, results should be compiled and lists made (Shiple, 2008).
The second step is to develop an average set of potential users for the site and to use them to create scenarios. They should match up with the site's overall design, and approximately three to six scenarios should be created. "For each user, write a scenario. To get started on a scenario, you need to bring the user to life. Create a character for that user, and give him a name, a background, and a task to accomplish on the site. Use a task from your list of audience needs and goals. Then write a story about how the character uses the site to complete the given task. Scenarios will be important later on, when you are defining the content and functional requirements of the site. It may seem like a chicken-and-egg problem - if you don't know what is on the site, how can you write a story about it Well, you already have an idea of what users will be doing on the site, so use your imagination! The sky's the limit. Being creative here will push your design into places you may not have thought it could go. Creating scenarios isn't that difficult, and it can be a lot of fun (but be warned, it can be time-consuming)" (Shiple, 2008, pg. 2).
Step 3 involves making a list of the competition. Once it is made, each of their sites should be evaluated based on criteria such as the time it takes to download, the size of the pages, overall layout, and the look and feel. All results should be documented.
Step 4 is to "It is time to document what you have just done. Create a new chapter in your design document called User Experience. Add the audience definition, and incorporate the scenarios. You could try to integrate the scenarios with the audience definition, but it is probably better to put them in their own section. Next, write up a summary of the competitive analysis and add it to the design document. The competitive analysis itself should be included as an appendix. Remember to publish these results so that everyone can see them" (Shiple, 2008, pg. 2).
Activities Recommended
Whereas the activities that were recommended seem easy enough, none of them were able to be carried out since there was no organization available to practice on. The main lesson learned information architecture as a socio-technical issue from the tutorial format, above and beyond what was learned from other sources was that the simple, easy-to-follow, step-by-step format made it much easier to understand that just reading about the process and its definition alone.
The purpose of this paper has been to read through the Overview and Lesson 2, and carry out as many of the recommended activities as possible. Although the activities could not be carried out because of the fact that there was no organization to practice them on, they are well-documented for future use.
Shiple, J. (2008). Information architecture tutorial. Webmonkey. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from Read More
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